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Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

St. Mary's Nutrition Center

Lots to Gardens

Lots to Gardens grows food where it is needed, with the people that need it.

Lots to Gardens is a founding program of the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center. Since 1999, Lots to Gardens has transformed over a dozen vacant neighborhood lots into thriving urban gardens used by community members, schools, and youth gardeners in our training programs. The community gardens not only produce fresh fruits and vegetables but also contribute to vibrant city neighborhoods and remove barriers to accessing fresh foods.

Of the gardens the Nutrition Center manages, six are used primarily for community garden plots. Over 120 households are building self-reliance and growing their own food in these gardens through the Community Gardener Program. Once in the program, we provide seeds and seedlings, tools and instruction, and weekly hands-on support in the gardens and monthly gardener workshops on a variety of topics. All food grown in community gardener plots is harvested and consumed by the gardeners and their families.

Webster Street Community Garden, Auburn, Maine

The gardens also act as outdoor classrooms that provide unique opportunities for community engagement and build neighborhood pride—empowering residents to care for communal city space. Gardeners learn to respect and value differences, appreciate one another’s culture and cultivate life-long friendships.

Where we grow

The gardens are located primarily in neighborhoods that most need better healthy food access, and are often in walking distance for the gardeners. Want to see if a garden is in your neighborhood? You can download this map (link coming soon!) of the gardens to see where they are located and learn more about them!